Things I Learnt About the Philippines While Traveling Southeast Asia

After living in the Philippines so long there are definitely some things I have come to know about the place but I wasn’t really sure if these were ‘Philippines things’ or ‘Asia’ things.

There are certain things that I learned were just an Asian thing, and others where it was much more prevalent in the Philippines than in other places. Of course overall I will be doing A LOT of generalizing here.

Not every person will have the traits I talk about, but in general I feel like these are what you should expect when traveling around. Lots of the stuff I will talk about is negative mostly because it is easier to notice when someone does something that annoys you, or maybe I just notice them easier.

Lets start off with a few positive things where Filipinos did things better.

Why Life as a Philippines Expat is Better

I thought it before I left and I still do: the people in the Philippines are the kindest you will find. Actually I would rate Indonesians to be pretty much the same as far as friendliness goes and they’re very DTF as well.

Bule = western guy

But there is one key difference. The English is sooooooo much better in the Phils than it is anywhere else I have been in Southeast Asia and it isn’t even close.

This was something I totally took for granted in my time as an expat living in the Philippines.

It can be really hard to do the simplest things like ask people for assistance with anything. I was staying near a very prominent building in Indonesia that everyone knew. But I would say the name of the building slightly different than their dialect and half the people had no clue what I said until I typed it into my phone.

That was kind of how it went everywhere and finding good English speakers was generally pretty hard wherever I went. Even in the touristy areas it could be hard which is surprising.

Even taking the English out of the equation I felt like the Filipinos and Indonesians were the genuinely nicer people where as Thais and Vietnamese were much more xenophobic and the average person had little to no interest in foreigners.

Online dating is great in the Philippines or Indonesia, good in Thailand, and while it is probably the best way to meet girls in Vietnam it is nowhere near as good as the other places. In the Philippines you often see the hottest girls with foreigners, in Vietnam I never saw the hottest girls with anyone but Vietnamese people.

As far as other ways for meeting girls I prefer daygame in the malls and the Philippines and Thailand are the two best for that, but Philippines is clearly the best. While there are great malls in Thailand that are really crowded like in the Philippines the limited English of the girls makes them more stand offish.

Indonesia has huge malls also, more than in the Philippines even, but they seem to be about 10% as crowded as in the Philippines. When Filipinos have nothing to do they go to the mall. They walk around, they sit, they window shop or buy some food.

When Indo girls have nothing to do they… I have no idea but roaming the mall isn’t the answer. While this means when you do see a hot girl in the mall it is easy to get a good approach spot seeing hot girls is rare.

Malls in Vietnam barely even exist so it really isn’t an option there. Daygame is tough and even if you do get a girl to text you she’ll want you to go on dates and act like a serious boyfriend before she gives it up.

Vietnam approach spot?

While Filipinos aren’t exactly the best drivers in the world I would say they were better than drivers in Indonesia and Vietnam. In those two countries people drive much more aggressively and there are motorbikes coming out of nowhere at all times.

They will ride on the sidewalk often and you pretty much always have to be paying attention any time you are walking around. While the majority of drivers in these parts seem to be pretty bad and don’t think about anything other than ‘I am going there’ at least in the Philippines they drive slower and are more passive.

The Negative Things I Noticed About The Philippines

That covers most of the positive things and now for the negative ones. It should be noted that I already ‘knew’ or had strong theories about most of these things before but traveling confirmed them.

The first one that sticks out is that noise pollution is FAR worse in the Philippines than anywhere else. There is just constant music blaring and people being loud everywhere you go. I really only had noisy neighbors in one other spot (Vietnam) but I was staying in a hotel so that is to be expected.

Another thing that really stands out is how basically every girl I met in other countries was doing something whether it was working, school, or hooking. Hey hooking is better than nothing right?

So many girls in the Philippines are doing nothing at all. Looking for a job, studying next year, lying in bed all day waiting for people to hit like on their newest selfies they put on FB. I can’t think of any girl I met elsewhere that wasn’t up to something.

I thought the malls in the Philippines were really nice until I saw what is going on in Bangkok and Jakarta. You go from the dirty streets of PI and into a nice mall and you can’t help but notice it. Not a big deal, but the malls in Bangkok and Jakarta are definitely on another level.

I was never getting any of the ‘can I borrow’ requests in other countries. Sure there were hookers on dating sites in all countries but they weren’t shy to admit it.

Not like the Filipinas who will pretend to not be hookers and then ask for money after.

Pinay talking to jspill

Or even worse the girls who just met you and instantly ask tell you about their ‘big problem’ and how they’re ‘short on their money’.

There are also more street beggars in the Philippines than other places. Even somewhere like Walking Street in Pattaya only had 1 beggar and it was some lady who was clearly disabled. Walking Street in Angeles City has 5-10 regular beggars out each night.

Overall Though Things Are Pretty Similar

Even though there are some big time differences from place to place in general your life will be pretty similar in any of them. Being an expat in the Philippines won’t be that different to being an expat elsewhere in SE Asia.

I think it is much easier to socialize and meet new people in the Philippines. I definitely send far more texts per day there than I did in Vietnam or Thailand.

It really is remarkable how similar the Philippines and Indo are. If Indo had better visas I would give it more of a shot, but since they don’t I can’t imagine I will ever spend too much time there.

29 Responses

  1. expat333 says:

    I find myself telling beggars (mostly kids) “wala akong pera” (ain’t gonna money) quite regularly while walking around. Every now and then I’ll feel bad and hand over a few pesos. Some kids will work for their money as barkers on Jeepney routes. I’ll tip ’em some money every now and then.

    • jspill jspill says:

      I should start using that with chicks

      • expat333 says:

        Yeah, lol. Tell them that. Oh, BTW: I meant to type “ain’t got money” above, not “ain’t gonna money.” Pimsleur’s Tagalog (torrent) came in handy early on. You could also use “masarap ang kiki mo” (your pussy is delicious). Pimsleur didn’t teach me that one, though. :-/

        • jspill jspill says:

          Yeah I’ve done pimsleur and started teach yourself tagalog ebook / audio course. Also on torrent. I keep getting told ‘malaki cha’ (it’s big!)

          • expat333 says:

            There’s a Tagalog 2 now. I haven’t seen a torrent for it, but I got the whole thing by signing up to Audible’s free trial and downloading 5 lessons at a time. One credit (free) = 5 lessons, but if you download them onto your comp to keep and make a return, the credit is back on your account instantly and you can download the next five. I got away with downloading all thirty lessons of Tagalog 2 that way before Audible put a stop to my instant online returns. Lol. Then I just drank a Red Horse.

    • RealGuy says:

      Dont give them money man, a lot of them are owned by the cartels. Give them food instead.

  2. G says:

    the accent thing in Indonesia reminds me of when i needed to go to Mangga Dua Wtc, pronounced Mangga Dua weh teh seh, i had to phone a friend to tell the taxi driver what i was saying, as he had no idea, hahaha

  3. BangkokBaller23 says:

    Great article; but, missed one key element….

    Basketball IS the national sport! 😎

  4. If you had to live in either Saigon, Bangkok, or Cebu for at least 1 year, which would you choose? Could you rank your choices pls

    Sidenote – Yeah I was trying to connect with a guy who could fix Indo visas and residency for me, but it’s too expensive and just too much bullshit. You gotta set up a company and all this nonsense. Apparently it would run me like 4k+ usd to find me a work visa sponsor and so on….eh. That JIS scandal did a number on immigration policy.

  5. Eddie says:

    Another good article.
    What’re the best places to go in Indonesia?
    Is Bali that different than Batam?
    Besides the malls, did you hit the clubs (which ones)?
    Thanks

  6. thibault says:

    jspill you pay hookers by bank transfer??? how modern that is.

    • jspill jspill says:

      Bitcoin no less 😀 You can send money to any security bank atm with Coins.ph, girl goes there types in the code and withdraws it, no card required

      This wasn’t a hooker, did a Dante and handed her my no.

      But then the standard ‘can I borrow…’ but at least she waited almost a year

  7. AnonBro says:

    I think you could add poor internet service to the negative aspects of the Philippines. Even Cambodia has better (and cheaper) internet and cellular service.

  8. RumandCokeMan says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong-
    Dante seems to not like Thailand or Vietnam as much as The Phils and Indonesia. I’m guessing the dislike for Thailand because of the reputation for being scammer assholes in the tropical resort places in the South like Phuket and the xenophobia. Other bloggers have said Thai chicks are boring- all they talk about is Thai food, Thai music, Thai people. It’s like they believe they’re the center of the Universe and combine it with somewhat racist xenophobia.

    In Vietnam they’re clickish socially and have shit English. My guess is there is also probably small vestiges of hate left for Americans because of the dumbass illogical scammer rip off (like all modern American wars) war of occupation America did to them 50 years ago.

    • Reader says:

      Thais speak shitty English, have no interest in foreigners aside from our money and the places it might take them and perhaps the experience of getting dicked by a white guy.

      They have no interest in the world around them and are too impoverished to travel anyway. Whenever I see thais abroad in first world places like Macau, HK etc. they always look like scared out of place children (welcome to the falang experience you ridicule so much).

      It’s good for cheap living and being left alone from anti straight white male governments but don’t expect to connect to locals ever.

      There are tons of filipinos that are super into western culture, a giant callcenter industry where most people speak solid english, which makes an otherwise vastly shittier and quite expensive place (by euro standards) the better alternative for lots of guys long term.

      • Spirit maze says:

        Thais have a great sense of humor and are by far amongst the cleverest women I have met in Asia. Filipinas are friendly but retarded (retarded in an annoying way, not a cute way), Japanese are ultra childish, Chinese are robotic and Vietnamese are a bit cold, calculating and creepy and they work too hard. Taiwanese and Korean girls are on par for being almost like white women in their lack of traditional values and outlook. Hong Kong girls belong in this category too.

        I’d say non-pro Thais are probably the best women in Asia. Try meeting the regular ones and not the Nana Plaza types.

        I see Thais being proud of their culture as a plus. Nothing worse than a self-hating, Western worshipping, desperate to be white Asian.

        • Reader says:

          I have never seen something resembling a healthy long term relationship between a western guy and a Thai in Thailand.

          You monger and go from short term gf to short term gf like jspill or you get eaten up.

          I’m not sure why you consider thais to be clever. It’s a poor country for a reason: people aren’t particularly clever.

          Attitudes in Bangkok are quickly changing and good looking girls start to think they’re hot shit (especially those that have been banged by foreigners before that you’ll meet at RCA and the like). Not as bad as in Korea yet but it’s getting there.

          Your observations are generally accurate, however there are plenty of non childish japanese girls. I can relate to japanese people the most, however the work culture is brutal and Tokyo just generally isn’t a very leisurely city (everything from restaurants to cafes is tiny as fuck and doesn’t invite to just hang out and chill).

          You can easily find non robotic Chinese and I consider Chinese people to be the most genuine in Asia. They’ll tell you how things are straight up and you won’t have the fake politeness while talking shit behind your back like in Thailand.

          Hong Kong and Singapore are hell. Exposing women to vast amounts of wealth that the average guy is unlikely to attain in a lifetime you’ll get the worst gold diggers ever.

          • Spirit maze says:

            Interesting response man. I am probably slightly biased because the only time I have ever ‘fallen in love’ with an Asian was with a Thai, and she was an incredible woman. Ended up in a 2 year relationship with her. Interestingly though, she did often talk about how stupid and materialistic other Thais were. Perhaps she was a rare find and most other Thais are as you say. I have banged maybe 6 other Thais in my life, but they were all 1 night stands so I wasn’t able to get much of a taste of their personalities.

            Since then I’ve been banging hundreds of mostly filipina asians. I’ve done several Chinese, Japs, Koreans, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Indonesians too, but I’m by far most experience with Filipinas. I’ve clocked up over 350 Filipina bangs to date. Filipinas would be my second favorite in Asia, but most of them have a strong stupidity streak that can be absolutely infuriating. I was reading somewhere that the average IQ in PH is something like 75 and it definitely rings true.

            Attitudes of hot asians are changing all over Asia. I am meeting plenty of horrible bitches in Makati these days. I have to put in effort to find quality shags in Manila. Of course, there’s always plenty of easy 6’s and a few 7’s to bang if I’m feeling lazy.

            Attitudes of hot asians are changing for 1 reason: The sex market in The West has rapidly deteriorated for beta males. Thousands of beta men are flooding to Asia now, feeding Asian egos with their pathetic pussy pedestalling and making it harder for everyone. It’s the goofball apocalypse.

            I was catching the elevator in Gramercy a couple of days ago. A 7 out of 10 Filipina was standing in front of me with a big screened smart phone. I saw her furiously swiping between her Line and Viber apps, which her absolutely loaded with messages from white guys with names like ‘Geoff Hanson’ and ‘Barry Underwood’. Messages from them were ‘Are you free tonight?’ or ‘What the to you finish work, I’ll pick you up.’ This filipina was just staring at all these messages and not replying to any of them. She was swimming in options up to her eyeballs, and she was hot….but not flawless by any means. I think Asia is getting harder because of this reason alone.

            • For me the draw to Phils is the easy sex alone. If Phils gets hard, I’d rather choose somewhere else with equal difficulty and better quality. It just doesn’t make any sense to stay if it doesn’t stay that easy lol.

              Japan and Korea have always been popular hunting grounds.

              • Spirit maze says:

                I think the pool of easy 6’s will last a while longer. But once a Filipina approaches a 7 and above the bitch shield ratios start skyrocketing.

                Practically all the white guys i see on the Manila streets are walking next to a 6 or below level filipina.

                If you bring ‘game’ to Manila, you can still shag the hot ones….but it definitely isn’t a cake walk.

  9. thibault says:

    not sure that being into degenerate soulless deshumanizing immature unmanly socially destructive and atomizing western culture is a good thing. each time someone watches some pro globalist antiman bullshitty manipulative deceiving american media, you can bet they lise a lot in the process. when i see them wearing baseball caps and other ridiculous symbol of submisdion to the domineering globoculture, i consider them lost. hollywood is the heart of all evil,( and this aint only figuratively speaking) they already destroyed south america qnd turn them into a giant ghetto cobstantly waring for providing drugs for their northern neighboors, and the philippine s with their semi latin culture are headed the same way. speaking good english is their doom and not their blessings, as they are easier preys for the invasion of their souls by the beast. hum. it begins to see that i read heartiste too much

    • Normal Nomad says:

      I think you need to lay off the weed man. Or at least VISIT the Phils sometime. Talk to the people. I promise you, 97% of the people here are nowhere NEAR what you describe. Speaking English is NOT what makes a country go to shit socially. It has a lot to do with CULTURE (or lack thereof) and lack or purpose/religion, two things which the Phils has in spades. 🙂

      • thibault says:

        hopefully they stay like that then. but they te already worst in this regard. thais are kot open to the world, like japanese, and thats what protects them. cultural invasion is real, civilization game like. remember jollybee. its tbe first step to killing your culture. if they dont have real traditional food, they have one less brick in tjeir cultural wall. then, baseball caps.

  10. John says:

    Can you buy gold coins in the Philippines?

  11. Jan says:

    The level of english seem lot better
    Communication is important

    Maybe i wanna give it a try next year.

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